believe

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Lazarus, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. Lazarus

    Lazarus Member

    Ukraine
    What's the main difference between:

    BELIEVE IN STH

    and

    BELIEVE STH

    Can we say, for example:

    Who believes (in?) these words?
     


  2. Hello Lazarus,

    To believe in something means that you really do believe in it.

    "Do you believe in ghosts?"
    "Yes, I do, I've seen quite a few in my house."

    "Do you believe in God?"
    "Yes I do. I have no doubt whatsoever that he exists."

    To believe something means you accept, at face value, that what you have been told is true.

    "Do you believe your uncle will give you his car for nothing?"
    "Yes I do. He always keeps a promise and I don't see why he should suddenly change."

    "Do you believe what I just told you?"
    "Yes I do. You are my best friend and I've never known you to lie to me."



    Who believes these words? :tick:





    LRV
     
  3. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    Hello Your Majesty,

    Did you happen to notice the definition of the WR dictionary for "believe in"?
    believe in
    have a firm conviction as to the goodness of something; "John believes in oat bran"

    I understand their use of "believe in" here (I believe in getting 8 hours of sleep every night; I believe in exercising every day, etc.), but there are other kinds of beliefs this definition just won't cover. This definition strikes me as being strange at best and inaccurate at worst. People who believe in the devil do not seem, to me, to have a firm conviction as to the goodness of the devil!!
     
  4. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    Both are based on drawing a conclusion, but I'd say that to believe something is intellectual, cerebral, whereas to believe in something is intuitive, on having faith in something or someone.
     
  5. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    La grive,

    Now, I can accept your definitions completely! You should write for the WR dictionary!
     
  6. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    Thanks, Joelline! :eek: :)
     
  7. Hello Joelline,

    No, I didn't check any dictionary. My examples came from "off the top" of the royal head. From what you have said about WR's definition I fully support what you have said.

    I also support your fulsome (in its best possible meaning) praise of La Grive. Unencumbered birdies, flying high, see things differently to us earth-bound mortals.

    Bravo La Grive! Haven't seen you for a while. :)




    LRV
     

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